• Journalist narrates 28 hours ordeal by soldiers searching for missing general
Wife of Paul Barde, Mrs. Julcit Barde, whose restaurant is opposite the controversial pond in Dure Du community of Plateau State where the missing Gen. Idris Alkai (rtd) is suspected to have been dumped, yesterday pleaded for the release of her husband, who had been picked up by the military operatives guarding the pond for a week now.
Mrs. Barde said they owned the property near the pond where the general’s car was recovered. “I have acquired the property for over eight years. We erected some structures there that is over 90 per cent completed and we built a block of shops beside the pond for protection.”
She said when the incident started and the military took over the pond, “a call was passed across to my husband telling him that they had taken possession of his property and they would want his permission to stay there while they carry out their operations. My husband obliged to the request to aid the investigation and they started using it.
“In the course of their operation, something led to the collapse of the block of shops, which is a storey building. And nobody called him but somehow he got to know about it. As he was going to see it himself, they stopped him that he cannot have access to his building according to order from above. He left.
“On October 1, he called the Major who asked him to lend them the property. The Major asked him to come on Tuesday if there was any valuable he could salvage from the collapsed building. He went with one of his friends. On getting there, the Major introduced him to a General, who now said my husband should be able to tell them something about what was going on there. That was how he was arrested,” she narrated.
Meanwhile, a journalist, Mr. Friday Olokor, has also narrated how he spent 28 hours being detained by soldiers alongside 36 other Nigerians in the troubled city of Jos, Plateau State capital. Olokor, the PUNCH correspondent was arrested on Saturday, October 6 and released on the night of October 7.
Already, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Plateau State Council, has expressed strong reservations about the conduct of the army in the search of its missing officer, Major Gen. Idris Alkali (rtd). The council in a statement signed by Paul Jatau, chairman, and Peter Amine, secretary said: “The body is concerned about the way and manner the Nigeria Army is going about its search for missing Maj. Gen. Alkali.“The arbitrary harassment, intimidation and arrest of members of the public as part of their search is a thing of worry to the NUJ. We expect the Army to conduct its intelligence and go after those they suspect and not arrest anybody in sight.”